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After Trump Signs Russia Sanctions Bill, Prime Minister Says It’s a “Trade War”

The use of the term “war” is an escalation in U.S.-Russia rhetoric, and a far cry from predictions of cooperation between Trump and Russia.

Dmitry Medvedev

Hillary Clinton predicted in October 2016 that if Donald Trump won the White House then Vladimir Putin would have a “puppet in the White House.”

It’s July 2017, Trump is in the White House, and Russia’s prime minister just said a bill signed by Trump amounts to a “full-scale trade war.”

Those comments were made by Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday, according to Reuters, after Trump signed a Russia sanctions bill into law.

New sanctions on Russia which U.S. President Donald Trump has signed into law are tantamount to a “full-scale trade war”, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday.

Medvedev also said in a Facebook post that the sanctions showed the Trump administration was utterly powerless.

“The hope that our relations with the new American administration would improve is finished,” he wrote.

Now, Trump did show some reluctance on the new sanctions, both before he signed the bill and in a statement after he signed it.

Trump maintains he can strike a better deal with Russia than Congress, and griped about the “very dangerous low” in U.S.-Russia relations on Thursday morning.

Nonetheless, even an Obama administration official admitted that Trump’s decision to sign the sanctions bill shows he means business on “hold[ing] Russia accountable.”